CLEVELAND, OH – At the end of the day Ed Rybka is Mayor Frank Jackson’s “guy” over the building department the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been investigating. How Jackson’s former council colleague has managed the building department sets the tone for all the corruption that’s been allowed to exist in the open under a mayor whose “statutory duty” is to be the city’s biggest corruption buster as its chief law enforcement officer. So are his subordinates.
Jackson, not the FBI, should know Navid Hussein owns Buena Vista Homes, LLC and the Moghul Corporation, and should know he and other inspectors are “acquiring” homes they’re inspecting. He should know some homes have been outright stolen through the housing court and its judges. That’s if Rybka was on top of his game and keeping the mayor protected and informed.
There isn’t a federal, state or local criminal law Jackson through the city’s municipal police department pursuant to R.C. 737.11 can’t enforce. Municipal police under Ohio law have “federal” law enforcement authority as a “state’s right” gift of the 10th Amendment. The FBI and any other federal law enforcement agency would not be needed if Jackson enforced R.C. 733.34 and “supervised the conduct” of the officers and employees of the municipal corporation; and caused neglect of duties to be promptly punished instead of “law suspending” tolerated. That level of mayoral diligence would make Cleveland one of the most corruption-free cities in the nation.
Article 1.18 of the Constitution of Ohio instructs every person in the state that “no power shall ever be exercised to suspend a law but by the general assembly.” Not enforcing laws is exercising the unlawful power to suspend them. The “mayor’s” duties whether Jackson discharges them or not is to enforce all laws.
Every employee in his administration is a mayoral proxy with the duty to ensure the laws that apply to the duties of their public offices are enforced. Jackson and every employee he supervises has no other choice but to “obey” all laws. There’s even a federal law duty pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 4, “misprision of felony” to report all felonies. R.C. 2935.09 and 2935.10 backs up the “misprision” duty imposed on “anyone with knowledge of a felony” with the authority and instructions on how to report them.
On June 24, 2020 I photographed individuals who may or may not be “regular” employees of B&B Wrecking planting grass seed on dirt covering stone. B&B had been “selected” by officials Jackson hired Rybka to oversee to demolish and then dump a storefront located at E. 149th and Kinsman in an approved construction and demolition debris landfill. B&B is owned by William Baumann. His father built the business now headquartered at E. 131st and Broadway. They operate a series of interconnected family enterprises.
The Kinsman property B&B or Baumann’s company demolished was required by federal and state laws to be inspected for asbestos. If found the nearest landfill that will accept construction asbestos is in Minerva, Ohio just outside Canton. Rybka’s duty was to supervise the building department’s employees in a way that caused them to “follow up behind” B&B and every other demolition contractor to ensure they were obeying federal and state EPA laws regarding demolition under the OEPA’s 46-year contract with the municipal corporation of Cleveland. Sidewalk barriers should have been placed at the site to protect pedestrians.
Every part of the building was supposed to be removed. That includes the walls to the basement and the plumbing. The utility lines were required to be capped. The driveway removed. The remaining hole under federal EPA laws was required to be filled with “clean fill” soil and readied for reuse. It meant that if someone wanted to build a new building on the corner the land was supposed to be like new. Restored to near original.
B&B wanted to crush and bury the Victoreen building at 10101 Woodland Avenue last year. He was told “no.” I checked daily. He didn’t. On this project the concrete in the hole gives the appearance he crushed and buried it. Soil was placed over the stone but just enough for “cosmetic” purposes. Grass seed was placed over the thin covering of soil to conceal the stone. The grass seed did not take. Not enough dirt to maintain the roots.
The hole was sinking when I took the pictures in June. It has sank even more since then as a result of B&B’s environmental crime. There’s no proof the water lines were capped. Who knows how much water is running from uncapped lines in “buried” properties throughout the city? If someone walking by slips and falls onto what they think is dirt they’re going to be seriously injured. That site is now unusable for any development; and exists as evidence of violated federal environmental laws.
The city inspector should have taken pictures of B&B’s progress for a permanent record. All of the documents that would establish “proof” the building either did or did not contain asbestos should be in his or her file. So should dump tickets proving B&B took the debris to the appropriate landfill before he was paid. These are the “avoided duties” that got Rufus Taylor into FBI trouble.
There should be a report from an inspector who instructed B&B not to fill the hole before it was inspected. That inspector’s report, the one assigned to the B&B job site, should have in it the information I’ve just shared above: which is that B&B’s employees were seen seeding dirt over stone.
The inspector should have known to investigate B&B’s dump tickets to see if they were fraudulent. Instead of a check in his name he should have faced criminal charges as Baumann had criminally failed, again, to discharge an “adjunct” function of the municipal government for which he was contracted.
These are also federal law requirements identified in regulations it’s obvious Jackson and Rybka have not read. Baumann should have been arrested instead of paid when he asked for a check as a federal environmental law violator.
The EPA controls waste “from the cradle to the grave.” The building Baumannn demolished never made it to the “grave.” Paying him made the city an accomplice in his federal environmental law crime.
The city’s contracted “waste and demolition removal” duties came from the Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) of 1976. It’s codified under Title 42, Chapter 82 of the United States Code. The RCRA requirements are found at Subsection 6961. Everyone in the landfill industry knows it. Especially those on the “insurance” side. Landfill closure bonds.
It’s not a law most mayors would know. It’s one every Cleveland mayor and member of council who’s served since 1976, and who’s approved the city’s OEPA contract, should know well if they read the contract council approved for the mayor to enforce for the past 44 years.
When I worked for the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority between 1989 and 1991, I reached out to Browning Ferris Industry chairman William D. Ruckelshaus for some guidance on managing the agency’s trash for then Executive Director George James. I served as his chief of communications. Ruckelshaus was the EPA’s first administrator. He broke down RCRA to me. One of his regional vice presidents arranged a tour of the BFI facility in Grafton. It’s now Republic Services.
My most recent discussion about RCRA involved the former General Electric site where Pete & Pete dumped over 1000 county land bank homes in a residential neighborhood instead of a “construction and demolition debris” landfill. The site is contaminated with mercury, Frank, and the GE vice president I spoke to knows RCRA’s “cradle to grave” requirement makes them responsible. Cleveland has to enforce its contract with the OEPA to make GE comply… Frank. All you have to do is enforce RCRA and GE will clean-up the site … Frank. No lawyers.
Rybka’s oversight of the building department Jackson assigned him to initially lead and then oversee should have resulted in an inspector visiting the job site more than once to monitor B&B. This is particulary since I identified problems last year with the company’s failure to erect barricades at the former Victoreen Building at 10101 Woodland Avenue.
Federal authorities know the Baumann’s have been in court over the stories of contaminated shit they’ve piled up next to Mill Creek so much it spills into the water tributary down the street from U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown’s home. Three years ago one of Baumann’s rusted excavactors had to be removed from Mill Creek. I took pictures of it.
Garfield Heights Mayor Vic Collova and I have discussed the Baumann dump site at E. 131st Street. He’s pissed. Frank’s fucking a lot of mayors with legitimate environmental complaints because Merle Gordon doesn’t know jack shit about the environmental laws he’s hired her to enforce.
It’s been Jackson’s contracted duty with the OEPA to enforce the nation’s environmental laws in the entire county; and to cause violators to be prosecuted. Federal authorities have to step in because he won’t. This then leads to Frank’s campaign finance reports; and the millions contractors have been donating to keep him in office and not enforcing federal, state and local criminal laws for the last 16 years.
It also leads to the campaign finance reports of the members of council whose legislative oversight duties, the FBI knows are just like Congress’, they’ve never used to “investigate” why Jackson for the past 16 years has not been enforcing federal environmental laws and others mayors in this state were given “unsuspended” duties to enforce. If RCRA did not authorize a “landfill” to exist behind homes on Noble Road in East Cleveland, and Jackson’s administration treated an illegal dump like a legimitate landfill by “inspecting” it instead of closing it; every federal law enforcement officer with RCRA knowledge sees the crime as a racketeering level conspiracy that involves numerous officials avoiding the performance of official duties.
The so-called “temporary” stockpiling of hazardous materials on Kinsman, across from CMHA; and down the street on 71st Street by Kokosing is not lawful. That immune system weakening filth Frank and Kevin Kelly on council are allowing to pile up is blowing daily into the homes of people. It’s covering their roofs, porches, window sills, shelves, tables and filling their lungs.
The entire purpose of environmental laws, and Congress empowering local officials to enforce them, was to “empower the people” who live in the environment with the immediate authority to protect it from the abuses of the corporations. It’s their millions in campaign donations over 16 years that has helped Jackson, Kelly and the rest of council ignore the mayor’s andn their own contracted “law enforcement” duties with the Ohio EPA.
It’s what’s not in “some” reports that’s required by federal laws to be in them the FBI is investigating. Missing information and avoided public duties is evidence of violated federal laws and regulations. In this case, Jackson’s workers have been talking to FBI agents and prosecutors with the United States Department of Justice about a number of violated federal laws since at least 2014. More if past investigations are included. The “focus” becomes better over time.
President’s change. Bureaucrats don’t until they are either reassigned or retire. The Cleveland FBI office is younger. Trump hires. They’ve developed a body of knowledge about “Democratic run” cities.
The main change in Cleveland with a change in presidents will be in the job Justin Herdman holds as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. Joe Biden’s going to select his own U.S. Attorney General and U.S. Attorney for the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio. They will be briefed on the “ongoing” local full criminal investigations. The investigations of Dimora and Russo started under President George W. Bush.
If anyone paying attention recalls, it was the administration of “Democrat” President Barack Obama that investigated more than 400 individuals connected to the “county corruption” scandal. He took office in January 2009. Jimmy Dimora, Frank Russo and company were indicted the next year in 2010.
The Trump U.S. DOJ spent the last four years building on the investigations Obama’s U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio briefed Herdman on. I’ve never seen a president “not” investigate public corruption and Cleveland’s officials have been easy. They don’t read. It’s three hours and 15 minutes to the federal prison in Morgantown, West Virginia; and lots of Cleveland and Cuyahoga county politicians have called it “home.”
Here’s a tip for mayors. The police chief I inherited as mayor on January 1, 2006 in East Cleveland had been asked to investigate a detective who used the FBI’s NCIC database to “query” the license plates of an undercover agent. The agent’s investigation included her husband’s drug dealing; and her use of the detective’s job and tools to help him.
The police chief was the detective’s child’s Godmother; and gambled with the detective and her drug dealing husband. I had no clue until I learned over a year later of the FBI’s request for an investigation and the chief’s response. The chief had included herself in the FBI’s investigation by not enforcing the federal NCIC laws. All FBI agents did was track the Terminal ID number “they” assigned her through the city’s contract with the Ohio Highway Patrol.
I contacted Lt. Col. Atkinson of the Ohio Highway Patrol and the Cleveland FBI office. I don’t recall the federal agent’s name, but I alerted the FBI that I’d taken over the investigation and had suspended the chief of police and detective. I later fired them both. Some of the investigation was shared with me. What shocked me is how they thought I was involved because they knew the NCIC use violated federal laws; and that I was supposed to have overseen the use of the databases under federal laws.
Since federal laws had been violated, and I had done nothing, the FBI agents thought I had become another Onunwor. They didn’t know their investigation request had been concealed from me until I shared that information with them.
Federal agents don’t “know” Jackson. They don’t “know” Rybka. They don’t “know” Ayonna Donald. They don’t “know” Thomas Vanover, Paul Cuffari or Navid Hussein. They know “about” them and they know others. They know Rufus Taylor, Damian Borowski, James Rokakis, Armond Budish, Ronald O’Leary, Gus Frangos, George Michael Riley, Christine Beynon, Pete Ristagno Sr. and Jr., Baumann,
All they know are the federal laws they have duties to obey and enforce that are not being obeyed and enforced. They would even know what Hussein is doing in India or Pakistan; and if Jackson has an undocumented worker here with forged documents being paid in part with federal funds.
Since the enforcement of laws is a duty of the office of a mayor, the only question the FBI asks is why a mayor with law enforcement duties isn’t enforcing laws. That would justify gaining a number of employees’ and contractors’ cooperation over the past six years without the mayor’s knowledge.
There’s a lot to be learned about a mayor over the course of a five year full criminal investigation that involves multiple federal agencies. There’s more to be learned than what’s seen in a federal search warrant to recover federal records during a raid at city hall.
What is not over is the ongoing federal investigation of Cleveland city hall. The regretable truth for the Jackson administration officials in the next round of indictments is they won’t know the federal laws they should have been obeying and enforcing until they read them in Statement of the FBI agent who is investigating them.
During a criminal trial or sentencing after a negotiated plea bargaining, the judge will remind the “off to jail” elected and appointed public officials of the Constitutions they swore to uphold; the laws they swore to obey and enforce; and the duties of the office they swore to discharge.
Jackson may remember the following tip he didn’t follow-up on.
Convicted pedophile Michael Cosgrove, Jackson’s former community development director, and O’Leary approved a $10,800 demolition contract for Velmir Lucic, a Serbian immigrant, to demolish his own “cited” E. 79th Street property. Lucic was also allowed to demolish his next door neighbor’s property, Frances Caldwell, for another $10,000; although she had an unexpired permit to renovate it. It’s in the Cleveland Clinic area on E. 79th Street where lots of properties have been destroyed by “arson.” Barbershop II. Courtesy of Don Scott, Jr. I knew Don, Sr. I know his Mom and Sister.
The building department sent Caldwell a $10,000 bill for the work Lucic had done to demolish a property she was renovating. She’s learned the county took Lucic to court for the $38,000 he owed in taxes. He didn’t spend a dime of the $20,800 he got to demolish his own and a neighbor’s property, illegally, on his taxes.
Jackson got a letter from Caldwell. So did Blaine Griffin. They obviously didn’t read it and investigate. If they had she wouldn’t be willing to talk to the Feds; and share the evidence with them she tried to share with the “chief law enforcement officer” of the municipal corporation of Cleveland. Now Griffin leads council’s safety committee and until last year did not know the first three words of the Constitution of the United States of America were “We the people.”
Another non-reading Jackson appointee.